Bill passes IL Senate; ensures Chester schools will not lose funding for hosting officer's funeral

CHESTER, IL (KFVS) - A bill ensuring the Chester School District will not lose funding after closing for a fallen officer has passed the Illinois Senate.

House Bill 1254 passes unanimously with a vote of 54-0-0 on May 12. It now moves on to Governor Bruce Rauner to sign.

"This bill remedies an unfortunate situation where the Chester Community School District was losing funding due to hosting a memorial service for fallen police officer Brockmeyer," Sen. Paul Schimpf said. "The legislation ensures that the Chester School District will not lose funding and that other districts will be able to support community recognition of our first responder heroes. I appreciate the efforts of the Chester Board of Education, Superintendent Goodman, Regional Superintendent Davis and Representative Costello to act quickly on behalf of Chester District 139 and I look forward to Governor Rauner signing this bill into law."

The legislation was drafted in response to a decision by the Illinois State Board of Education that an early dismissal of students for a memorial service in the high school gymnasium would preclude that school day from counting toward mandatory attendance requirements.

When the City of Chester lost Officer James Brockmeyer last October, city leaders shut down the school for his wake and funeral.

At the time, Regional Superintendent of Schools Kelton Davis said a few hours out of class could cost the school district more than $20,000.

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